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No limbs, no problem for Italy’s fencing firebrand

first_imgItalian Paralympic Champion Beatrice “Bebe” Vio attends a press conference to present the Fencing Worlds 2017, on October 31, 2017 at Rome’s Fiumicino airport. Rome will host the Wheelchair Fencing World Championship from November 6 to November 12, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / TIZIANA FABIParalympic fencer Beatrice Vio is a veritable sports icon in Italy, a model of courage whose battle against disease, infectious enthusiasm and prowess have won her legions of loyal fans.Now the 20-year old ace is in Rome, where on Wednesday she will defend her title as wheelchair fencing world champion after taking home gold in last year’s Paralympics in Rio.ADVERTISEMENT The world’s first competitive fencer with no arms or legs, Vio uses prosthetic arms but standard foils or epee weapons. While she can walk almost normally on her prosthetic legs, she competes in a wheelchair.“I found hospital to be a waste of time,” she said. In under four months she was back at school, and entered her first parafencing competition just a year after falling ill.She puts her return to “normality” down not just to tenacity but also two decisive encounters, with South African paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius and Italian paracyclist Alessandro Zanardi.“They both said the same thing: ‘You’re an amputee, don’t let it stop you. Get moving and do what you want to do’,” she said.“I met them thanks to my parents, and now I tell myself I’m the one that has to be an example to others”.Already a household name in Italy, Vio’s popularity soared after Rio, where she was the flag-bearer for the Italian delegation at the Paralympic Games’ closing ceremony.Invited on an official Italy-US visit to the White House last year, she snapped a cheeky selfie with Barack Obama.She puts her fame to good use, supporting the art4sport association — which helps young disabled people play sport — and campaigning in favour of vaccines, a hot-button issue in Italy.“I’m fighting for everyone, children and adults, to be vaccinated. It’s an easy thing to do and can avoid a lot of ball-ache,” she quips. Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene MOST READ LOOK: LeBron shouts out PH fans for sprawling mural in Taguig It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES It also ravaged her face, leaving it deeply scarred. Several months of intensive rehabilitation in hospital followed, during which Vio learned to walk again using prosthetic limbs designed specifically for her.The youngster had first wielded a sabre and donned a mesh mask when she was five years old.“After a difficult time, it was my dream of fencing again that helped shorten my hospital stay,” she said.“I also had the support of my father, who worked with a specialised orthopaedic centre to develop the prostheses with which I was rebuilt — a bit like a lego,” she joked.‘Get moving’ADVERTISEMENTcenter_img SEA Games 2019: Nicanor rallies to bring home 1st fencing gold for PH PLAY LIST 01:39SEA Games 2019: Nicanor rallies to bring home 1st fencing gold for PH01:38SEA Games 2019: Filipina fencers bag gold medal in team epee02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Redemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie Thompson Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson “My motto is, ‘life is too good’,” Beatrice Vio said with a laugh in an interview with AFP, her cheerfulness belying years of physical and psychological anguish, beginning in 2008.“I was 11 years old when I got sick. I was struck down suddenly with meningitis C,” said the blue-eyed blonde from northern Italy, who has been affectionately nicknamed “Bebe” (baby) by her compatriots.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smog“Two years earlier, my mother had asked a doctor if I should be vaccinated because a child who lived near us had meningitis, but he said I was too young and not to worry,” she said.The disease become necrotic, giving her doctors no choice but to amputate both legs and forearms. Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ View commentslast_img read more

CDB donates US$4.1M to poverty assessment programme

first_imgIn an effort to alleviate poverty in the Caribbean, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) launched a Country Poverty Assessment Programme designed to address the prevailing challenges, and “improve the way its 19 Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) assess poverty and gain access to data from these assessments”. To this end, the CDB has committed an investment of US.1 million to the project which will be conducted over the next five years.At the programme’s launch in Castries, St Lucia on Tuesday, Division Chief of the CDB’s Social Sector Division, Deidre Clarendon noted that more evidence-based policy decisions were needed to end poverty in the Caribbean.“The Enhanced Country Poverty Assessment Programme launched today responds to the pressing need for high-quality data on poverty. Understanding the causes of poverty, who it affects and how it affects them is at the core of making informed, evidence-based policy decisions and helping Caribbean countries make meaningful, measurable progress in reducing and ending poverty,” Clarendon observed.The CDB noted that the programme will enhance the capacity of the BMCs to conduct multidimensional poverty assessments.“Multidimensional poverty measurement considers how poor people experience poverty which goes beyond income considerations, and takes into account other deprivations – of education, health, housing, empowerment, personal security, and more; through the programme, some countries will either adopt multidimensional poverty measurement as stand-alone studies or integrate it into existing national surveys,” the Bank stated.“Across the Caribbean, policymakers rely heavily on the availability of timely, accurate and reliable poverty data to support national and regional development initiatives. Despite making considerable progress on how they measure poverty, many countries in the Region do not frequently update or report on key poverty indicators, and are not able to assess the non-income dimensions of poverty and human development,” CDB added.It was pointed out that CDB’s Country Poverty Assessment Programme will support Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Suriname, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands.Established in 1970, the Caribbean Development Bank is a regional financial institution for the purpose of “contributing to the harmonious economic growth and development of regional borrowing member countries.” Apart from its 19 regional borrowing member countries, there are four regional non-borrowing member countries – Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela. Non-regional, non-borrowing members are Canada, China, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom.last_img read more

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